Posts About Dr. Rhonda Barovsky

Feeling Good

143: Performance Anxiety: The Conclusion

143: Performance Anxiety: The Conclusion

Session with Rhonda, Part 2

Last week we published the first half of the session with Rhonda, who was struggling with severe performance anxiety about her work as the new host of the Feeling Good Podcast host. We did the initial T = Testing, which indicated many intense negative feelings, as well as E = Empathy phase of TEAM therapy session.

This week, we include the conclusion of the session, with A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting and M = Methods, plus final T = Testing to see how effective, or ineffective the session was.

As a reminder of the work we did on the last podcast, you can review Rhonda’s Daily Mood Log here.

When you listen, you will see that the changes Rhonda experienced were amazing. But were these changes real? It almost seem too easy, and too fast, especially for a problem that started in childhood and persisted right up to the present moment. Was the session just a publicity stunt, perhaps, or some kind of superficial quick fix? David asks Rhonda about this, as well as this question: ‘If the changes were real, what caused such rapid and profound changes?

David and Rhonda used many TEAM-CBT techniques they during the session, including these:

  1. David Empathized with the Five Secrets of Effective Communication at the start of the session during the E = Empathy phase. Of course, good empathy is necessary throughout a therapy session.
  2. David melted away Rhonda’s resistance during the A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting. These techniques included:
    1. Straightforward Invitation
    2. Miracle Cure Question
    3. Magic Button
    4. Positive Reframing
    5. Pivot Question
    6. Magic Dial
  3. The M = Methods that were helpful in this session included:
    1. The Individual Downward Arrow to identify the Self-Defeating Beliefs that triggered Rhonda’s feelings of inadequacy.Rhonda enjoyed this exercise and felt it was on target.  We identified many Self-Defeating Beliefs, including:
      1.  Perfectionism
      2. Perceived Perfectionism
      3. Achievement Addiction
      4. Approval Addiction
      5. Love Addiction
      6. Fear of Rejection
      7. Submissiveness
      8. Inadequacy schema
      9. Spotlight Fantasy
      10. Brushfire Fallacy
      11. Superwoman
    2. The Interpersonal Downward Arrow to illuminate how Rhonda saw her relationship with her father, with David, and with some other people, including the podcast listeners. This is kind of like Psychoanalysis at warp speed. Rhonda said this felt uncomfortable, perhaps because it cast David somewhat as a dangerous ogre!
    3. David and Rhonda smashed several of Rhonda’s Self-Defeating Beliefs with the Feared Fantasy Technique
    4. Identify the Distortions
    5. Paradoxical Double Standard Technique
    6. Externalization of Voices
    7. Acceptance Paradox / Self-Defense Paradigm
    8. Self-Disclosure / Exposure
    9. The Experimental Technique
    10. Thinking in Shades of Gray

Finally, if the changes were real, will they last? Or will Rhonda just slip back into more performance anxiety and self-doubt?

You can click on this link if you’d like to review the evolution of Rhonda’s Daily Mood Log during the session. Please notice that the link is several pages long.

You can also see Rhonda’s ratings on the Brief Mood Survey before and after the session and review her ratings of David on the Empathy and Helpfulness scales at the end of the session. You might want to read her interesting comments on what she liked the least, and what she liked the most about her session with David.

I want to thank Rhonda, my esteemed colleague, friend, and wonderful podcast host, for giving all of us this incredible gift of her humanness.

And I, Rhonda, want to thank the most marvelous, compassionate and incredible David Burns, for the gift of healing and facilitating me experiencing enlightenment and peace from these difficult feelings and negative thoughts that were devastating me.  I feel so much gratitude for all of our work together, for your trusting me enough to invite me to be the host of these podcasts, and for the gift of your friendship.  Words can’t express the full depth of my love for you and for everything you have given me both personally and professionally!

Did you like the personal work we did? Was it helpful for you personally? Rhonda took a chance and was courageous to share this intensely personal experience with you. Let us know if you liked the podcast!

If you are a therapist, or an interested patient, let us know if this was it a good learning experience. Would you like to hear more podcasts with live personal work?

We are here to serve you, so share your thoughts and feelings with us, as well as your wish list for future podcasts!

David and Rhonda


You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.

142: Performance Anxiety: The Story of Rhonda, Part 1

142: Performance Anxiety: The Story of Rhonda, Part 1

“I sound stupid! . . . Ouch!”

Have you ever struggled with performance anxiety, thinking you might fail or not be good enough? I think it is fair to say that every therapist in my Tuesday training group at Stanford has struggled with fairly intense feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, and perhaps you have, too, thinking you should be smarter or better than you are, and fearing that others would judge you if they saw your “true self.” In fact, I would suspect that most of our podcast fans have struggled with these feelings at some time during your life, and maybe even recently or now.

Well, today, we’ve got a wonderful program in store for you. Our own Dr. Rhonda Barovsky asked me for personal help with her own anxieties about being the new podcast host. I asked if she wanted to do it live, on a podcast, and she generously agreed!

In this heart-warming and very human session, Rhonda shares the negative thoughts and feelings she had when she listened to herself on several podcasts and begin noticing this or that error she made. She felt intensely down, anxious, ashamed, inadequate, rejected, embarrassed, discouraged, frustrated, and angry, to name just a few of her negative feelings, and her mind was flooded with negative thoughts like these:

  1. I sound stupid and inarticulate, and some of my comments were inaccurate, like when I said psychiatric diagnoses are meaningless labels.
  2. I’ve had feelings of insecurity ever since I was a child, and should be over this by now!
  3. David is going to regret having me as the podcast host!
  4. Everyone will know I’m a fraud, and no one will like or respect me.
  5. People will judge and reject me, and I’ll end up ostracized and alone.

She believed these thoughts at 100%. You might recall that the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for emotional distress are:

  1. You have one or more negative thoughts.
  2. You believe the negative thoughts.

In today’s podcast, you will hear the first half of the session, which included T = Testing as well as E = Empathy. During the Empathy phase, David also included two Uncovering Techniques, the individual Downward Arrow Technique and the Interpersonal Downward Arrow Technique, so that he and Rhonda could identify the Self-Defeating Beliefs under the surface, like Perfectionism, Perceived Perfectionism, the Approval Addiction, Superwoman, and more.

This is because there are two goals in TEAM-CBT. The first goal is to crush the negative thoughts in the here and now, so that you’ll feel relief. The second goal is to modify the Self-Defeating Beliefs so you’ll be less prone to similar thoughts and feelings in the future.

In next week’s podcast, you will hear the second half of the session, which included A = (Paradoxical) Agenda Setting and M = Methods. You’ll also hear the final T = Testing to find out how effective the session was, and how Rhonda rated David on Empathy and Helpfulness.

I think you’ll find that both sessions are incredibly inspiring and wonderful sources of learning as well. I want to give a shout out to Rhonda for being so courageous and vulnerable and real, and for making this live therapy session possible! After you’ve heard Part 2 next week, let us know what you think!

You’ve all responded very positively to the live therapy we’ve done on the Feeling Good Podcasts, and you’ve asked for more. Rhonda and I are committed to making that happen for you, and we are both so grateful for your support, which means a lot to both of us. Thank you!

David and Rhonda



You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.

I Goofed–But Some Exciting Personal Work Is Coming Soon!

I Deleted a Post I Published by Mistake Yesterday! 


High-Speed Trauma Treatment and 

High-Speed Treatment of Performance Anxiety

Are Coming Soon

Live TEAM Therapy!

Yesterday I pushed the “Publish” button by mistake while working on the show notes for an upcoming podcast on performance anxiety with my co-host, Rhonda. I immediately deleted the post, but some of you tried to link to it since it instantly appeared on Facebook. Then some of you got the message that the link was broken.

That’s the BAD NEWS! I apologize for my goof.

Here’s the GOOD NEWS! Many of you have asked for more live personal work on the Feeling Good Podcasts, so here’s what we’ve got coming up for you soon:

High-Speed Treatment of Trauma
Parts 1 and 2–Live TEAM Therapy with Sherrie.

These podcasts will be published on  on the next two Mondays, April 22 and 29th, 2019. We may even be able to provide you with a two-year follow up in a few weeks so you can see if the effects of the TEAM Therapy session lasted, and how Sherrie is feeling now, looking back on the work she did with David and Mike Christensen.

High-Speed Treatment of Performance Anxiety,
Parts 1 and 2–Live TEAM Therapy with Rhonda.

Have you ever struggled with performance anxiety, thinking you were going to goof up and fearing that other would judge or reject you because you weren’t good enough? If so, you won’t want to miss these riveting and incredibly real podcasts that will be published on Monday, May 27 and Monday, June 3, 2019.

I am very indebted to Sherrie and Rhonda for sharing their intensely personal feelings with all of us. I believe that there is a tremendous amount to be learned from observing actual therapy sessions, as opposed to role-play demonstrations, so you can ask yourself, questions like these: “Is this real,” and “How does it work?”

Whether you are a therapist hoping to improve your therapy skills, or a general citizen looking for a little self-help and inspiration, there is a great deal to be gained from observing live therapy sessions, both from a practical and from a spiritual perspective. And it would not be possible without individuals with great courage and generosity to share their inner selves with all of us! 

David and Rhonda

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you can visit his website here.

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There will be two awesome summer intensives
for you this year! I hope you can join me at one of them!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.


July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis


133: Finale — Goodbye Fabrice! Hello Rhonda!

133: Finale — Goodbye Fabrice! Hello Rhonda!

A Fabulous (but Sad) Finale for our Fantastic and Beloved Fabrice–

Mission Accomplished!

Dear Feeling Good Podcast fans,

I am profoundly sad to say goodbye to my beloved friend and terrific podcast host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, who is leaving the podcast to start his own show this spring. I wish him well on his new podcast he’ll be releasing soon. I’ll share the specifics when they become available so loyal fans can tune in and follow him!

What a joyous experience it has been working with Fabrice for the last three years. He proposed the idea of a weekly podcast in the spring of 2016. We started publishing episodes on this website, but we realized that we needed wider distribution. So, we re-launched the podcast and re-published the first few episodes on iTunes, starting with episode #001 on October 27 of that year. Together we have been able to share TEAM-CBT with many enthusiastic listeners. We just exceeded more than 70,000 downloads monthly and are now almost at 1,000,000 all-time downloads. Please join me in wishing him well!

My feelings of profound loss are comforted by welcoming another dear friend and colleague, Dr. Rhonda Barovsky, our new host. Rhonda and I look forward to creating many more fabulous podcasts for all of you.

Rhonda received her doctoral degree in Forensic Psychology from the Eisner Institute for Professional Studies in 2013. Throughout her career, she has been a champion of women’s rights and defender of the victims of childhood sexual abuse. Rhonda is the founder of the San Francisco Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment Program and has served as Director of San Francisco Family Court Services. She has also worked at the San Francisco Rape Treatment Center, providing crisis and short-term counseling for adult survivors of sexual assault and their families.

Rhonda is a certified TEAM-CBT therapist and esteemed teacher. In her clinical practice, she focuses on TEAM-CBT for adults struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, and relationship problems.

She brings warmth, enthusiasm and brilliance to her new role as host of the Feeling Good Podcasts:

“I am extremely honored to be invited to host the Feeling Good Podcast with Dr. David Burns. Fabrice Nye has been a visionary, and his shoes will be impossible to fill. I hope to add to the joy and excitement of learning and teaching TEAM-CBT along with David and having lively and productive discussions.” Dr. Rhonda Barovsky

Rhonda and I will be posting two surveys shortly on my website, http://www.FeelingGood.com, to find out more about you. I want to find out if you are a therapist or non-therapist, and what kinds of topics might interest you the most.

And unlike some tech giants, we promise to keep your information totally confidential. We don’t sell information; we just want to do the best job we can for therapists and non-therapists alike, for free. If you are a “patient,” we want to accelerate your learning and your recovery as well. If you are a “therapist,” we want to help you improve you skills and your joy in your clinical work. 

I put the words, “patient” and “therapist” in quotes, because the line between the two is very narrow indeed! As “therapists,” most of us struggle at times with the same human dilemmas that our patients face. And as we do our own personal work, as therapists, we bring far more healing and compassion to our work with our “patients!”

On the show, Fabrice and David share fondest memories of the show, and Rhonda talks about new directions as she becomes the host of the Feeling Good Podcast. Fabrice also gives some hints about his new show, which will be broadcast in French and English. Fabrice will describe and translate new developments in psychology research and relate the findings to our daily lives. 

Thank you so much for your awesome support over the past 2 ½ years!

Fabrice, David and Rhonda


Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and treats individuals throughout the world (but not across U.S. state lines) via teletherapy. You can reach him at fabrice@life.net. You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.

* * *


TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

by David D. Burns, MD and Jill Levitt, PhD


Dr. Jill Levitt and I are offering what I think will be an outstanding workshop on the treatment of anxiety disorders on Sunday, May 19, 2019. Our Sunday workshops are tremendously fun, so consider attending if you are interested. 

The last Sunday workshop in February sold out quickly so register soon if you are interested. You can join in Palo Alto in person or online from anywhere in the world.


WHEN: May 19, 2019, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm PST
(11:30 am-7:30 pm EST)

WHERE: Join us live online or in person at the Creekside Inn, Palo Alto, CA.


WILL I GET CE CREDITS? YES! 7 CE hours available

Completion of this workshop also counts towards TEAM-CBT Level 1, 2 or 3 Certification

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Although the workshop is geared for therapists, it will be taught in a clear and basic way that anyone can benefit from.




You will love this lively, amusing, and immensely useful day of training with Drs. Burns, Levitt and the Feeling Good Institute Staff. The trainers will use a combination of didactic teaching, live demonstrations, video, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.


Act fast if you want to attend!

* * *

And there will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.


July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis